Lombardi's Way No. 2 a Capable No. 1?

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Don’t look now but that former No. 2 for the Ravens who wore No. 2 is playing like a No. 1.  So far in the summer league, Anthony Wright has put up respectable numbers while facing first team defenses.  In four quarters of game action, Wright’s numbers look like this: 18 of 35 for 200 yards, 2 TD’s, O INT’s and 87.8 passer rating. 
 
Meanwhile Carson Palmer’s rehabbing continues and the Bengals’ big gun is still targeting August 28 as his return date, when Marvin Lewis’ boys host the Packers at Paul Brown Stadium.
 
Back to Wright for a moment, do you think that if he is the opening day starter that Brian Billick and Jim Fassel will quietly be rooting for Wright to fail?  If he lights it up, might that be yet another indictment against the Ravens’ offense?
 
In Pittsburgh things are relatively quiet for the World Champions, the biggest news being Hines Ward’s hamstring problems and Bill Cowher’s future.
 
The Steelers’ Super Bowl XL MVP Ward can’t seem to figure out his mysterious injury that has proven to be stubborn and lingering.  The dependable receiver has never missed so much practice and has only missed one game during his NFL career.
 
"The hamstring is just not cooperating. If anybody has any advice to give me or find a new hamstring for me, trust me I’m out there to take it."
 
As for Bill Cowher, seems that the Pittsburgh ball coach has Carolina on his mind.  Last October Cowher purchase a home in North Carolina.  His wife is a native of the area and his daughter is going to school there.  Factor in that Cowher has yet to renegotiate a new contract with the club (historically he has done so with two years remaining on then current deals) and Jerome Bettis’ open speculation that this will be Cowher’s last season and presto, there’s a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the champions.
 
So let’s see, Randle El is gone as is Bettis, Chris Hope and Kimo von Oelhoffen.  Mix in Ward’s hamstring, uncertainties about Ben Roethlisberger, Cowher’s questionable tenure and the fact that teams generally gun for the champions and the end result is a slipperier slope for the Ravens arch-rival to climb.
 
Junior Seau…you suddenly have some credibility issues.  It wasn’t a retirement, it was a graduation…so you said.  You poured your heart out to the adoring fans of San Diego.  You spoke with such emotion – so powerful, eloquent and convincing.  And now you seem like such a phony and you’ve given many a reason to root against the Patriots now. 
 
Gee I can’t wait for the next “graduation” speech.
 
Front and center, center, center, center….The Cleveland Browns shelled out big bucks to land center LaCharles Bentley.  He lasted one practice.  Next up at center for the Browns was Bob Hallen (a cab out of town) who suddenly developed a mysterious back injury.  The Browns then moved on to Alonzo Ephraim who was promptly flagged by the league for substance abuse and he’s now shelved for 4 games.  So bring on Ross Tucker, a former Patriot who has 24 starts to his credit. 
 
How fast is Charlie Frye by the way?
 
More from the Lake Erie coastline…former Ravens CB Gary Baxter is out with a pectoral injury.  Baxter might be ready for the season opener – he better be.  Leigh Bodden, Baxter’s replacement is drawing rave reviews (no pun intended) even from opposing players like Chad Johnson.  Wonder if Baxter will be asked to move to safety?  Maybe now that he has a corner’s payday in pocket, he might be more open to such a move that he vehemently opposed when he wore purple.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is the founder EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com. His work has been featured on various sports websites and he hosts The Russell Street Report and Armchair Quarterback both seen and heard on Fanimal Radio. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi
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